Thursday, September 25, 2008

In the Dead of Night

You wake up too early, using your cell phone as an alarm clock. Nothing jerks you out of bed as fiercely as a few bars of "Werewolves of London" playing as a ringtone. Nothing else quite sets the tone for the day, either. The first thing you remember is the neighborhood scuttlebutt that the damage to the lines is so severe it will be another 7-10 days before power is restored. At that point you stopped thinking about High Priests on Gods of Electricity, and just started mumbling about human folly and the foolishness of a system of so many conveniences which become necessities, and how stupidly fragile they are.

"Weather," you tell yourself. But it isn't what you mean.

You fell asleep wondering what technology would reach deep into fenced off backyards guarded by stands of trees and perimtered by houses and garages, and pluck up and place in new telephone poles, or whatever Tinker-Toy structure is needed for something that always looked as solid as granite, and now seems as flimsy as a house of cards.

And then, after driving to work and standing in the crowded coffee shop because you couldn't face making another pot of coffee all for yourself this morning (you spent the morning wandering in to dark rooms, barely suppressing the reflex to reach for a light switch. Two weeks of this and still old habits recur.), you get out of the car and a lone mockingbird high on a power wire (after all, it's why you are here so early; it's lit, it's air conditioned) is throwing out so many gay songs you realize nothing is really so wrong with your world that birdsong can't cure it.

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